When I was on vacation recently, I had time to watch a heavy dose of CNN, CNN International, and other round-the-clock news sources. There were plenty of political discussions and programs on showbiz, fashion, technology and business - but very, very little on health and medical topics. Just some quick "blurbs" here and there.

Every weekend we’re inundated with political roundtables and talking heads about the latest inside-the-Beltway scandal or screw-up, but rarely do they turn their attention to matters of health and real medical concerns.

HOW COME?

I cannot for the life of me understand how a subject that affects all of us does not get significant airtime except as "scary news," such as recent worries about the bird flu. Someone, please tell me why there wouldn’t be a growing and loyal audience for the kind of discussions that we do on HealthTalk about serious chronic conditions and the latest ways to treat them and live well with a high quality of life.

With so many families touched by these illnesses, I would think there would be great interest.

Is it just that news managers tend to be younger and healthier? How do we get them to give airtime to our ongoing concerns - concerns that, taken together, affect millions of people?

I asked Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld about this. He’s the medical commentator on Fox News. “How about expanding this coverage?” I asked. Although he would support it, he thinks the news editors just want more war coverage and more hurricanes. He’s thankful that he has his “Sunday Morning House Call” segment, but he wouldn’t place his money on more airtime for health.

What’s your thought on this? How can we effect a change in media focus to issues that matter to us?

–Andrew